Even if you’ve decided to go totally kid-free for your wedding and reception, there is a tiny tot who just might make the cut (for the ceremony, anyway): your ring bearer.
What Is a Ring Bearer?
A ring bearer is responsible for carrying the couple's wedding rings down the aisle during the ceremony. One of the youngest members of the wedding party, the ring bearer is usually between three and eight years old.
Including little ones at your wedding is absolutely aww-inducing, but it also requires some extra consideration. Ahead, we break down the ring bearer's duties, what they wear, and how to choose them.
What Does a Ring Bearer Do?
Ring bearers, unlike witnesses or a certified officiant, are not actually necessary to get you formally hitched. However, they do have one very important responsibility: delivering the rings. If the ring bearer is old enough to walk on his own, he should head down the aisle after the wedding party and deliver the rings to the best man or wedding officiant. Not quite mobile? If mom or dad are in the wedding party, they can carry their kiddo during the processional, or you could have the flower girls escort him.
How to Choose Your Ring Bearer
Most often, ring bearers are children of those close to the couple. They might be the kids of the maid of honor or best man, the couple’s nephews, or the children of other friends or family members.
What Does the Ring Bearer Wear?
When you’re deciding how your bridesmaids and groomsmen will be dressed on your wedding day, keep an eye out for coordinating attire for your youngest attendants as well. For the ring bearer, keep the formality of your wedding in mind. Those tiny tuxes are so cute, as are little suits or khakis with bowties and suspenders.
Talk to their parents about whether they’d like you to give them guidance, or if they’d prefer that you pick exactly what you want their kid's outfits to be.
As with your wedding party, the ring bearer (well...their parents) pay for their own attire. You may, however, opt to purchase the outfits as a gift or pick out a sweet accessory that could become a cherished memento.
Are They Invited to the Reception?
This is the most important question and one you should answer before you invite any kids to participate. If you’re having other kids at your wedding, then yes, the ring bearer gets an invite. Seat them with their parents, or arrange for a kids table with a babysitter, kid-friendly food, and fun activities. If your reception is adults-only, work with the parents of the tots in question to help them find a local babysitter (and consider covering the cost yourself) and a spot to watch the kids, whether it’s in their parent's hotel room or in a nearby room at the venue.